Remembering a brave warrior

WHERE IT ALL HAPPENED...The banyan tree where Sangolli Rayanna was hung.

Sangolli Rayanna is one of Karnataka’s greatest warriors and patriots. He fought against the British during the struggle for Independence.

Amatur’s Balappa and Sangolli Rayanna are among the two bravehearts of the Kittur region. Rayanna was the younger son of Sangolli’s Dodda Bharamappa and Kenchavva. The family name of Rayanna was Rogannavar, because the family had a history of administrating native medicine to villagers. The Rogannavar family hailed from the Kuruba community.

Though 1857 is recognised as the year of the First War of Independence, when a mutiny was launched in disparate incidents across the country, it was as early as 1824 that Kittur’s rulers first began to resist British rule. Kittur Rani Chennamma was among the foremost rulers to raise a cry against the British.

A whole army of rulers backed the brave queen, and among them was Sangolli Rayanna. A warrior who fought and killed Dharwad collector Thackeray. He staged a guerrilla war against the British, even picketing government offices in the Belgaum region.

 The brave warrior.The state government has taken steps to protect the Kittur fort, and has installed statues of Rani Chennamma across Karnataka. Several programmes are held to keep alive the memory of the brave queen Rani Chennamma.

But, not much has been done to launch a similar programme to keep alive the memory of Sangolli Rayanna. The cemetery of Sangolli Rayanna is in a poor state, and not much has been done to retain the sanctity of the place.

The government should take steps to develop the grave of Rayanna at Nandagadh. The sanctity of the banyan tree area where Rayanna was hanged should be preserved.

There are no roads leading to the cemetery of the warrior.  A Sainik school, on the lines of Bijapur’s Sainik school could be a good idea to ensure that the memory of Rayanna is preserved.

Those who are admirers of the brave warrior demand that the government should form the Sangolli Rayanna Development Authority to look into all of these plans.

The Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Foundation was started in 1995 to ensure that future generations know about the greatness of the man. The Foundation celebrates his birth anniversary every year. Veterans from various fields are honoured on the occasion. The Foundation also gives away awards in the name of the warrior. A giant statue of Sangolli Rayanna that was built at Kolhapur’s Art School in association wit the Bangalore Mahanagra Palike will be unveiled near the railway station today.

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